19 year old Tony Robinson was shot dead by a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday 9 March.
Tony, a biracial man, was unarmed. Police had been called to an incident involving an “African-American man” jumping in and out of traffic and a reported assault. The lone responding officer broke into an apartment and shot Tony after what the police say was a scuffle.
Protests against the killing continued overnight on Monday. Slogans on demonstrations highlighted stark inequality in Madison. The city prides itself on being a good place to live. However, a report released in 2013 showed that unemployment amongst black people in Dane County (which includes Madison) is 25% compared to just 5% amongst the white population. The percentage of black children living in poverty was 58% compared to 5% for white children.
On Sunday 1 March police shot dead a homeless black man known as “Africa” on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Police say they were responding to a suspected robbery and in (another) scuffle Africa reached for an officer’s gun. At that point Africa was shot five times.
When police continue to routinely carry guns, and racial targeting of petty crime, and harassment of black communities continues, black people will end up dead.